On Yahoo Tech: David Pogue Thinks He Gets It, But He Doesn't
David Pogue trashed essentially all tech journalists and every tech site on the Internet just a few hours ago on stage at CES during the Yahoo keynote. Normally this kind of publicity stunt doesn’t bother me but this time it did–and not for the reason you may think. It bothered me for a couple of reasons, the first is because he thinks he’s the only one interested in serving the “normal people” and he would be wrong. The second reason it bothered me (which is actually a good thing for BestTechie) is because he’s going about it the wrong way.
David Pogue wants to build a tech site for the masses (otherwise known as the “normal people”) with the new Yahoo Tech so what does he do? He does what someone who has been covering technology since the beginning would do: he’s watering down the content. The problem with watering down content today is that people are far more familiar with technology today than say, 10 or 20 years ago, so you end up insulting their intelligence. Plus, now we have Google, Wikipedia, and a number of other services (oh hey, we even have Jelly now) that can answer easy tech questions in a pinch. Questions turned into posts such as What is 4K? are SEO plays at best. You’re not helping anyone.
Here’s the thing David, “normal people” as you call them, aren’t all interested in reading about technology daily or weekly. I can’t believe I’m telling you this but the people you should be targeting (who we’re targeting at BestTechie) are people who are interested in technology. Period.
We target people who are in the tech industry, but also target people with what we call “a passing interest in technology,” otherwise known as people who like technology but don’t work in the tech industry. And believe me, there are a growing number of people in that grouping. Even my parents have fallen into it.
The audience you are looking to serve will only come to you when they need something–hardly a dedicated readership if you ask me. Now it may work because you’re Yahoo and have hundreds of millions of visitors already built-in, but I have a strong feeling it won’t. If you want to build a tech site for “normal people” you need to address the right crowd of “normal people” (the people I mentioned before) — and be there to give them their tech news fix (with a human element of course) to keep them informed on a daily basis and also provide them with the resources they need to make those hard tech decisions.
But the problem is not just the fact you want to water down the content, David. You also seem to have the completely wrong approach for content selection. Part of your job as someone who writes for “normal people” is to inform and educate them, I think you are onboard with that, but there are times when certain acquisitions or key executives moving from one company to another are worthwhile to share and discuss. It’s not about the actual headline, but the way you explain it. Why does this matter? Here’s why. How can this affect you? Here’s how. What does it mean for the company? Here’s what.
When Microsoft announces its next CEO, we’ll be covering it and offer some analysis and thoughts as to what it will mean for Microsoft going forward. This is stuff people want to know these days. Based on your comments in your “Welcome to Yahoo Tech” post it seems like this wouldn’t be of interest to you and subsequently your audience. Let me be the first to tell you, you would be wrong to find it not interesting for your audience. We shouldn’t be confining tech to just gadgets and apps.
Anyway. David, on behalf of BestTechie I’d like to welcome you to our style of tech news and may the “best techie” win.